‘They are lucky the stadium is empty’: Graeme Souness insists Newcastle are ‘quickly approaching the last chance saloon’ as they flirt with Premier League relegation zone… and insists Steve Bruce and Co should be grateful fans can’t vent anger in person
- Newcastle are in a relegation dogfight having won two out of their last 18 games
- Steve Bruce’s men host Spurs needing a win to improve the mood at the club
- Graeme Souness claims Newcastle should be grateful there are no fans in stadia
- Souness also believes Mike Ashley is upsetting the fans by not sacking Bruce
Graeme Souness claims Newcastle are lucky that their fans are not in the stadium to witness their slide down the Premier League table towards a relegation fight this season.
Steve Bruce’s side have won just two out of their last 18 top-flight matches and are set to face a relegation battle with Fulham, West Brom and Brighton in the final nine matches of the season.
The Magpies host Tottenham on Sunday afternoon knowing that a win will take them five points clear of the drop zone but former Newcastle boss Souness insists Bruce’s men are approaching ‘last chance saloon’ in their relegation dogfight.
Graeme Souness says struggling Newcastle should be grateful that there are no fans in stadia
Newcastle have won two out of their last 18 Premier League matches and could be relegated
Souness told Sky Sports: ‘(There’s) pressure on Newcastle (and) deservedly so. They’ve not performed, they’ve not got enough points and I think it’s worrying if you’re a Newcastle supporter.
‘If you look at their last game against Brighton, there was no fight. They’re in a fight. They are quickly approaching the last chance saloon.
‘You’ve got to get some points on the board because if you’re constantly playing under pressure, needing to win, some players don’t respond very well to that.
‘And a saving grace for them I think, having worked at the club, is that the stadium’s empty. The crowd would not be slow in voicing their disappointment with the team.’
Souness claims the fans would have created a negative atmosphere with the side in bad form
Newcastle were slammed for their last Premier League performance, a 3-0 defeat away at relegation rivals Brighton, with Souness describing the Magpies side as ‘passive’ and ‘lacking in fire’.
The Magpies have been damaged by the recent injury struggles of star striker Callum Wilson, who was ruled out for up to eight weeks with a hamstring tear at the beginning of February.
Newcastle’s survival chances were dealt another blow on Saturday as rivals West Brom beat 10-man Chelsea 5-2 at Stamford Bridge to move them within seven points of the Magpies.
Magpies boss Steve Bruce (above) has been blamed by some supporters for the club’s decline
Souness also claims owner Mike Ashley is sticking two fingers to the fans by not sacking Bruce
Many fans have pointed the finger at head coach Bruce for the club’s poor performances and while Souness admitted he likes the Magpies boss, he claims Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is upsetting the fans by not sacking him.
Souness continued: ‘I like Steve Bruce, he’s a good guy. I think he was lucky to hold on to his job. It’s like Mike Ashley is sticking his two fingers up to the supporters.
‘If 95 per cent say they want a change, generally the board would make that change. If there were people in that stadium, I think a change would have been made. It’s a high-risk strategy.
‘I don’t know what the numbers are, but it’s very, very big in terms of pounds, shillings and pence. It’s a big number if they go down and don’t come straight back up.’
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